Over the past few months I’ve shared thoughts on some of the obstacles to mobile marketing success, as well as on ways these roadblocks can be overcome. Understanding and overcoming these obstacles only matters if doing so provides a real benefit – and you’d have to be living under a rock not to recognize the tremendous potential of mobile marketing. In this chapter, I’d like to lay out the specific rewards of mobile and why everyone in the industry should be doing everything they can to make mobile work well.
OPPORTUNITY: First, there are billions of mobile devices in the world and a growing number of them are smartphones and tablets. But as explosive as the growth has been over the past year, less than half of US mobile subscribers have smartphones. In the fast-growing BRIC economies, the levels of penetration are even lower: Brazil, 20 percent; Russia, 9 percent; India, 4 percent and China, 24 percent.
REWARD: There are literally billions of smart devices out there. It’s a market opportunity that can’t be overstated. In addition, as emerging markets continue to mature, taking the global approach advocated in past articles will open the way to tremendous revenue opportunities.
OPPORTUNITY: The growth in mobile isn’t just about broadening the base. It’s also about deepening consumers’ relationships with and reliance on their devices. The iPad is a perfect example of this opportunity. In less than three years, Apple has shipped more than 100 million of these devices and is on track to ship nearly 25 million in Q4 12 alone. Talk about reliance: consumers have downloaded more than 35 billion apps for iOS devices alone. 35 billion! Truth be told, as impressive as the stats for iOS are, Android has overtaken Apple in many markets.
REWARD: Virtually every one of those 35 billion apps provides an opportunity to deliver an impression to a consumer.
OPPORTUNITY: Today though, marketers are still only testing the potential of mobile. Incredibly, only about ONE percent of US ad dollars flows onto mobile platforms. One percent. There’s no reason for this, only excuses. In 2011 the mobile advertising market was less than $4B. According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, it will jump to more than $18B by 2015.
That’s a big number, but it isn’t even the whole story. That’s only mobile advertising and the reality is that advertising is only one use case.
REWARD: There’s so much more that can be done in terms of mobile marketing – there are also dollars to be found in app download tracking, performance tracking, fraud prevention and more.
Start imagining all of the use cases multiplied by all of the devices across all of the geographies and you begin to see a market opportunity that quickly races into the tens of billions of dollars. The demand is there. The technology is there. It’s just a matter of recognizing and addressing the issues around the obstacles and approaching them raised in the earlier articles. Doing this is what’s right for advertisers, publishers, technology providers and consumers. There are benefits all the way around. It’s time to go get them.